Rudd wants Murdoch inquiry
There is a serious push for a royal commission into the abuse of media monopoly in Australia.
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd has appeared in a video calling for an inquiry into media influence in Australian democracy.
Australian media is dominated by two players – Nine Entertainment, including The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and the Sydney Morning Herald, and News Corp, which is owned by former Australian Rupert Murdoch and controls over 65 per cent of the metropolitan newspaper market.
Experts warn that Australia’s high concentration of media ownership a threat to democracy, often preventing or politicising critical issues or entirely ignoring others.
Mr Rudd pointed to the fact that News Corp mastheads have supported the Liberal Party specifically in the past 18 elections.
“Murdoch has become a cancer, an arrogant cancer, on our democracy,” Mr Rudd said.
“I’m calling on the Parliament to establish a royal commission into the abuse of media monopoly in Australia, and particularly by the Murdoch media, to make recommendations to maximise media diversity ownership for the future lifeblood of our democratic system.”
Mr Rudd was hounded by News Corp mastheads during his tenure as prime minister.
His petition for a royal commission was rapidly approaching 100,000 signatures at the time of writing. The page became so popular after Mr Rudd’s address on the weekend that it became inaccessible for periods of time.
Proponents want the inquiry to make recommendations to maximise media ownership diversity.
In the case of the News Corp empire, this would require Mr Murdoch to divest his assets, or for the government to support more independent news